In an admirable move, we’ve sat down with Gavin ‘F1reb1ast’ Nutto, a deaf streamer who has started changing the name of the game by encouraging other deaf and disabled streamers to enjoy streaming just as he himself does and we completely dig it.
As a streamer who struggles from time-to-time with crippling bipolar disorder, ASD, anxiety, among other troubles, I’ve found a form of solitude and an amazing support group when I joined Facebook’s Level Up program. Within that group, I’ve found a new foothold, a way for me to enjoy what I do and continue doing it even when my highs and or my lows manage to emerge.
But what others don’t know, I also have Central Auditory Processing Disorder, a disorder that can cause the sound of games, voices, and anything going on around me to become overwhelming, voices to blur if too much is going on or – as you guessed – anxiety attacks. Having learned about other gamers with a variety of disabilities – some physical and not mental – I sat out to meet one of them, and among them, I came across Gavin in one of Facebook’s communities for us Facebook streamers.
What makes Gavin so admirable? He’s deaf. He’s a member of the deaf community who is using the art of streaming to encourage others like him to stand up and stream, to enjoy the games they do, but also to raise awareness about how other streamers like himself have special needs in order to do what they do and continue doing it with a bit more ease.
Sitting down with him, I decided to delve in, learn a bit more about this beyond admirable man, one who sports his own unique jersey when he streams and is more animated than any hearing streamer on the market, “I’m a deaf guy, obviously haha… I’ve been gaming since I was four,” he states and explains, “The kind of content that I deliver, to make the people go entertain others, but also to watch also, my goal is to get well known by the Facebook gaming community and be the first deaf gaming creator on Facebook.”
Much to my surprise, I’ve begun digging around across Facebook’s thousands of streamers only to find one very unique thing about them all – Gavin is indeed the first Facebook Level Up streamer that is indeed a deaf member of their community. But not all has been easy along the way. Gavin has explained there has been a few hurdles getting to where he is now as a member of the deaf community, but also a streamer that speaks in American Sign Language to his viewers if he isn’t typing up his responses, “Yes, there are a lot of challenges in being a deaf streamer.”
But luckily, he explains that his goal is also to help give others like himself have a chance at streaming and encourages them in doing so themselves, “Yes, it can. If I keep it up with my streaming, and helping from other streamers would be helpful. I would love to see a team (of deaf streamers) working together.”
As an advocate myself for mental health awareness and gamers with various other disabilities, I can’t help but admire F1reB1ast – his preferred handle – for the trials and tribulations he has overcome in order to get where he is now. But his challenges he must face aren’t quite over, “The biggest challenge for me, I wouldn’t talk often like other streamers do – BUT – I do type to the audience to talk about the stuff or their questions. But one of the biggest problems I have – I sort of have to sign and type what I just said to the audience, because of both the deaf and hearing people that tend to watch my streaming. That’s my biggest challenge.”
Even in our Facebook Messenger based interview, F1reB1ast is an absolute blast to chat with, one that you already know is as animated as the words he types. If you go back and watch his streams, he has the talent to back it up as well and he does want to help make it easier for both hearing and deaf alike to enjoy the content streamers such as himself create through new tools from services such as Twitch, Facebook and even YouTube, and thus, I asked if he would be seeking a chance to chase that opportunity “Yes I definitely will. I want to help the deaf gaming community in order to see it grow in the future.”
But he doesn’t stop there. Whether you are deaf or not, he’s got some astounding advice for you, “My best advice is to never give up and to keep it going. One day it will be successful, ” and the best part of it? This can pertain to life in general, not just a career in streaming or content creation. Unfortunately, when I asked F1reB1ast about a community group on Facebook, Reddit, or any other place, he revealed that he doesn’t have one at this time, “I’m planning on setting up my community group soon,” which is encouraging to anyone wanting to get in touch with him.
As we wrap things up, we learned those of you who want to tune in can do so by following and liking his page over on Facebook and tuning in to watch the magic unfold. You can even check out his intro video down below and get a feel for who he is and maybe, you know, tune into his streams sometime soon.
If this doesn’t encourage you to get into streaming, I don’t know what will, but as a member of the journalism and streaming communities – this guy has a follower in me.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.